Minimum requirements for Android - how to choose the right handset

Android, due to its openness, it's rapidly spreading, and every month new Android-based handsets are released.

But, to sell more units, manufacturers are making low-end devices for a cheaper price, maybe too chep to have a decent experience. What to take in account to choose a device that won't disappoint us? Here is my experience:

T-Mobile G1
  • Release date: October 2008 - the first Android-based mobile
  • CPU: 528 Mhz - just the minimum, not fast, not too slow.
  • RAM: 192 MB - it's impossible to have more than two apps opened at the same time. Open the browser and the home will close. Close the browser and you have to wait 5 seconds to load the home. Open contacts and wait other 5 seconds. Extremely frustrating. With cyanogenmod it's possible to add some cache, but it does not make a miracle...
  • Internal memory: 256 MB - but just 50MB can be used. The browser takes 15 MB, Google Maps takes 10, Gmail 5, just install THREE apps from the Market and you've got full memory! angry
  • User experience: awful - slow and unresponsive, a little better with cyanogenmod and various hacks
T-Mobile myTouch 3G Slide
  • Release date: June 2010
  • CPU: 600 Mhz - Whoa, much better than the G1! This is next-gen, with integrated GPU. You can really feel the difference!
  • RAM: 512 MB - Yay!!! You can open dozens of apps, and you'll never run out of memory! Just a few minutes and my G1 is forgotten in a drawer.
  • Internal memory: 512 MB - but just 150MB can be used... you have to hack the system and repartition if you want to install more than 20 apps.
  • User experience: much better! Maybe a little slow in some cases, but it's ok.
HP Touchpad
  • Release date: June 2011 - the first webOS-based tablet (+ Android 4 in dual boot)
  • CPU: Dual core 1.2 Ghz - wow!!! Extremely fast!!!
  • RAM: 1 GB - If with 512 MB was impossible to run out of memory, think what you can do with the double!
  • Internal memory: 3 GB! You can install hundreds of apps!
  • User experience: Awesome!

So, from my experience, those are the minimum requirements to have a decent experience:

  • CPU: 600 Mhz - does not matter THAT much, it's better to have more RAM - once the app it's loaded, it's fast
  • RAM: at least 320 MB
  • Internal memory: at least 256 MB accessible to the user

If one of this requirement is not met, I can guarantee you that you will be disappointed from your Android mobile. (unless you use the phone just to make calls and send text - but you can just use a dumbphone for that)